"And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, 'Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.' And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled." - Mark 5:17-20 ESV
Go tell your friends?? How many friends do you think this man had? In the passage before he is described this way...
"And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him." - Mark 5:2-6 ESV
I think he ran to Jesus because Jesus was the one light in his very dark world.
"And crying out with a loud voice, he said, 'What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.' For he was saying to him, 'Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!' And Jesus asked him, 'What is your name?' He replied, 'My name is Legion, for we are many.' And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, 'Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.' So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea. The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid." - Mark 5:7-15 ESV
Those people were so afraid of this man because of the history that they had with him... no friends there. He had burned those bridges. They were afraid of Jesus because this man seemed to behave around Christ and even that scared them.
'Go tell your friends.'
I love it.
This man was going to have friends again. Maybe for the first time in his life.
This man begged Jesus, He said, 'No, I want to come with you.'
But Jesus said, 'No, Not yet. Later. Now I need you here.'
Jesus was barred from Decapolis because of what happened to the pigs. This man had a mission and on this mission he was going to find friendship.
People abandon their calling to work a vocation and pursue pleasure but God has friends waiting out there. Really... He does... They won't be the friends we have chosen. They are the friends He has chosen.
When it is time for you to go home to Jesus you and I will gladly go but we are needed here now. That is why we are still alive. We are to go where Jesus has been outlawed. We go as transformed people. We go as cleansed maniacs. We go as trophies of grace.